Using Mac OS X as a network gateway

I have been using my Mac Mini running Mac OS X 10.4 as my network gateway, and it isn’t all that difficult.  The most difficult part (currently) is that the settings must continually be reset (as the system will stop providing gateway services after a period of disuse apparently).

The steps are quite simple:

  • Open the System Preferences application.
  • Type into the quick find box: “Internet Sharing” and press enter
  • At the panel that opens up….
    • At “Share connection using:” select the proper connection to the Internet that you want to share.
    • At “To computers on:” select the location that describes the computers that you want to share your Internet connection with.
  • Finally, click on “Start” (towards the top) and click “Ok” on the “Are you sure?” dialog that comes up.

Your connection is now being shared amongst all of your systems.  You still have to configure them to use the gateway, though this could be done using DHCP.

From time to time, the Mac will turn off “Internet Sharing”.  In most cases, you will just have to go back to the “Internet Sharing” window and click on “Start” again to restart things.  Be aware that if the “Internet Sharing” panel has been open all along, it will not update dynamically – selecting another tab in that panel and reselecting the “Internet” tab will update the panel correctly.

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